Two-Sided Market

DEFINITION of 'Two-Sided Market'

A market in which market makers (or specialists) are required to give both a firm bid and firm ask for each security in which they make a market. In other words, those making the market must be willing to both buy and sell at the prices they quote.

Also known as a "two-way market".

BREAKING DOWN 'Two-Sided Market'

People mainly use this term in the context of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requirement that Nasdaq market makers give both a firm bid and firm ask for each security in which they make a market. However, this term can also be applied in the bond market. For example, some broker-dealers make two-sided markets on larger, actively traded bonds and rarely make a two-sided market in inactively traded bonds. The theory is that this helps to enhance liquidity and market efficiency.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a Nasdaq market maker and a NYSE specialist?

    What's the main difference between a specialist and a market maker? Not much. Both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) specialist ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between a quote driven market and an order driven one?

    The difference between these two market systems lies in what is displayed in the market in terms of orders and bid and ask ... Read Answer >>
  3. What do the bid and ask prices represent on a stock quote?

    Learn what the bid and ask prices mean in a stock quote. Find out what represents supply and demand in the stock market and ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why are the bid prices of T-bills higher than the ask prices? Aren't bids supposed ...

    Yes, you are correct that the ask price of a security should typically be higher than the bid price. This is because people ... Read Answer >>
  5. I don't understand how a stock has a trading price of 5.97, but when I buy it I have ...

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    Discover how day traders capture profits from the difference between bid and ask spreads. These spreads blow out during volatile ... Read Answer >>
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